In Conversation With Actress Lauren McCrostie
A couple of weeks ago we met up with actress Lauren McCrostie in the beautiful South London neighbourhood of Bermondsey. She had just returned from New York where she was promoting her latest movie “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by director Tim Burton.
In the film Lauren plays Olive and holds supernatural powers - she can create fire and control temperatures. In real life, she isn’t as fiery but warm and kind with a wicked sense of humour, and a strong passion for green living. We are so happy to share with you a glimpse into her thoughtful way of life!
Dörte: You suggested meeting around London Bridge. What do you love most about this area?
Lauren: I love that the area as it has so much history to it. There are stories within each cobbled street. It's all very intriguing, it's so quintessentially London-like. I love the architecture, too. The vast and old brick warehouses are so unintentionally beautiful.
D: You are starring as Olive in Tim Burton's new movie Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. What is most important to you about the experience and what is the biggest inspiration that you took away from it?
L: I am so grateful for the opportunity and I feel like I learned so much, looking at it in retrospect. I really value that there was this wonderful, positive, kind atmosphere every day. Everyone wanted this film to be the best it could be and that made for a perfect environment to be creative with your role.
D: How does the film's message “escape the ordinary, embrace the peculiar” resonate with you?
L: I have always felt a little bit weird ever since I was little, maybe because of my ginger hair or the way I viewed and reacted to things. I think its great, you should be allowed to embrace yourself fully and to celebrate your little quirks and nuances.
D: How would you describe your style?
L: It really depends on my mood and on what I am doing that day. If I am going to a meeting, then I may wear something more refined. If I am going to an audition, then I will try and dress to suit the character. But if I am running around doing chores then I’ll wear something easy and comfortable like wide legged trousers and a cropped jumper. I am mainly drawn to shapes and colours in clothes. I love all-in-one pieces, maxi skirts, and culottes.
D: How do you acquire your clothes? Do you have shopping rules?
L: My wardrobe is made up of pieces that I have had for a long time, hand me downs and thrifting finds. When I do buy pieces, they are always second hand. Whilst shopping, I try to follow the ‘capsule wardrobe’ philosophy and to only buy what I absolutely need. I am also very keen on promoting innovative, transparent fashion brands who are passionate about preserving the environment and who have strong ethical and environmental values.
D: Do you have an archetypal outfit that you would happily wear at any time of your life?
L: A maxi skirt and a top of any sort which is slightly cropped so to see the waistline of the skirt.
D: Is there an item of clothing that you once owned, and still think about and miss?
L: I loved the gingham summer dresses I used to wear at infant school. They were red and white and felt so fun to wear. The buttons and collars and little pockets are still something I look for in clothes now!
D: Was there a particular moment to open your eyes to the importance of sustainability in fashion? Why is it close to your heart?
L: I was initially inspired to only buy from charity and vintage shops by a costume designer whom I met on a short film that I worked on in 2013. I was constantly giving compliments on her clothes and asked her where she found them. I was so excited to discover that you can find such beautiful, unique pieces second-hand, and so embarked on the same journey! Then, later on, I learned how destructive the fashion industry is to our world and our people. This not only motivated me to continue buying second-hand but also to help to promote the idea of conscious consumption. Another motivation for me was the amazing documentary "True Cost", which is so informative and really unleashes the extent of the problem.
D: Do you have any thoughts or advice on living and dressing in a mindful way?
L: I would advise everyone to look at your wardrobes and comb out the pieces which you love, and to donate the rest to your friends, family or charity shops. Wear the pieces that you selected for a week or so and figure out what you are missing. This will help you to get more outfits from your clothes. I would then encourage you to try and find these additional pieces in second-hand stores.
As I am aware that deadlines for events etc. may impose constraints, I would then advise you to purchase the pieces from a conscious clothing store.
Investing some time and thought into your clothes, will help the environment, and prevent you from supporting the horrible human labour conditions that occur in the (fast) fashion industry. And it will help you to be more focused, to spend less money as you’ll be buying fewer items, and to value each piece you own so much more.
D: Such a pleasure talking to you, Lauren!
Places We Love:
Fashion and Textile Museum
Great exhibitions on the history of fashion. Currently on show: 1920's Jazz Age.
83 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3XF
Black Swan Yard Coffee
Great independent coffee and bike shop in one. And there is even a piano.
37 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3XF
White Cube Bermondsey
One of the world's leading art galleries, residing in a spacious 1970's building.
144-152 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3TQ
Maaike Mekking is a London-based photographer, design consultant, and stylist, working in the areas of fashion, film, and interior. A Royal College of Art graduate with a masters in fashion design she has garnered a wealth of experience, having worked with brands such as Alberta Ferretti, Alexander McQueen, and Gloverall as well as the conscious line at H&M. Having recently consulted for a British heritage brand, Mekking is currently working as a stylist and art director on fashion shoots and is contributing her photos on a regular basis to Lissome.